A 7-storey building has collapsed in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. About 121 people were rescued, including a baby while about 7 have been found dead. At the moment there has not been a definite account of people trapped under the rubble. The Kenyan flooding tragedy happened in the Huruma neighborhood in the outskirts of Nairobi.
Because of the rains and the flooding that led to this, the incidence has been categorized as a natural disaster. Nevertheless, the government wants to ascertain that the building in question was erected under the appropriate conditions.
Jonathan Mueke, Deputy Governor of Nairobi, said:
“The building went down during the heavy rains, but we still want to establish if all the procedures were followed when it was constructed.”
According to reports, the 2-year old building is believed to have been constructed without a planning permission. The residential structure was also situated at the edge of a river.
Residents cum witnesses said the building shook violently before finally collapsing. Kenya’s Red Cross also reports that about 800 homes and more have been affected by the flooding. For fear of another collapse, another building is being evacuated at the moment.
Kenyan flooding is an experience that gets out of hand during the rainy season.
“The rainfall has caused landslides, washed away houses and flooded roads. Police said 14 people died in the Nairobi rains, including those in the collapse. Another four died when a wall toppled over.”– BBC
Due to the nature of Huruma district, getting to the scene was a challenge to rescuers. Together, the firefighters, Red Cross and the military braved it and went in to help out with the Kenyan flooding disaster.
The director of the national disaster operation centre, Nathan Macharia Kigotho, says there are strong indications “that there are people who are still trapped in the rubble”. For fear of crushing these people the rescue operation will not employ the use of machines.
“We don’t want to use heavy machines because it is likely to crumble and crush them.”
Housing in Nairobi has always been a source of concern. In order to cut costs, property developers have resorted to compromising the quality and standard of most residential structures in Kenya. These developers take advantage of the high demand of housing to make profits over shabby structures. Thus the rains come and tragedies like this occur.